Here is a very fast pace, exciting career choice for nurses -Forensic Nursing. If I was 20 years younger I probably would have pursued a career in Forensic Nursing. I love watching CSI and Bones, love the detail work involved in putting the pieces together, unraveling the mystery and solving the case.
Forensic nursing is not for the faint at heart but rather for the nurse who wants to really dig in and make a difference.
What is Forensic Nursing?
If investigative sciences and victim advocacy interests you, consider the challenging field of Forensic Nursing. Forensic Nurses may be called to a crime scene or an accident to work with detectives to collect evidence, and take tissue and blood samples. Forensic nurses treat survivors of assaults or violent accidents, and victims of negligence, abuse, or violent crimes. It is a combined health care and judicial system profession at its best.
Job opportunities for Forensic Nurses
Here are some areas you could specialize in:
- Interpersonal Violence-Sexual assault; domestic violence; child/elder abuse
- Emergency/Trauma Nursing-Victim advocacy; crisis intervention
- Care Facilities-Accidents; injuries; neglect
- Police and Corrections-Evidence collection; scientific investigation
- Death Investigation-Natural; accidental; suicide; homicide
- Public Health and Safety/Mass Disaster Response-Environmental Hazards ;Drug/Alcohol Abuse; Food and Drug Tampering.
- Entrepreneur – Consultant
How to Become a Forensic Nurse
The education for Forensic Nursing varies. Degree programs are available but are not required for entry into this profession. But, it’s a good idea to become educated about the various fields in order to know which school to attend and what areas to study.
Start networking with law enforcement agencies or the county coroner office or insurance companies if this is a nursing specialty you are interested in.
Tip – Networking with those who work in the field is the best way to get your feet in the door for that dream job you always wanted. This is also a nursing field LPNs can explore as well.
Here’s a list of the many different areas you could work in as a Forensic Nurse:
- Forensic Clinical Nurse Expert
- Correctional Nursing Expert
- Forensic Investigator
- Forensic Gerontology Specialist
- Legal Adviser and Consultant
- Forensic Psychiatric Nurse
- Death Investigator
- Sexual Assault Examiner
Forensic Nursing courses are available both in traditional schools and through on-line colleges.
Earn certification to demonstrate your knowledge and professional commitment to your career. For example, the Forensic Nursing Certification Board (FNCB) of the International Association of Forensic Nursing (IAFN) offers the following certifications:
- SANE-A, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners / Adult/Adolescent
- SANE-P, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners / Pediatric.
IAFNis also a great resource for training programs and the latest news on Forensic Nursing. Check out the resource directory on this site for more information.
If you are an LPN you may want to check out certificate programs such as
American Institute Of Forensic Education
If only I was 20 years younger 🙁